My husband tosses me softballs every day—okay, not literal softballs but the easy playful banter with obvious flirty responses I could hit back to him. If only I were that savvy! He tells me I’m really bad at flirting. Now THAT, I can respond to! I tell him he should be thankful I’m so bad at it. At least he can rest easy that I’m not flirting with anyone else if I’m so awkward flirting with him.
He recently sent me a link to a blog by Sheila Gregoire, “16 Ways to Flirt with Your Husband.” from To Love Honor and Vacuum on BlogHer. I guess he was hoping she could teach me a thing or two. In the comments, however, I noted one reply from a poor young lady who did not enjoy her physical relationship with her husband, and I felt sad. She mentioned her two-year-old child, and I immediately thought of an old adage Todd and I have lived by: “The best way to love your children is to love their mother [insert father where applicable].” Our own children probably didn’t appreciate our obvious affection for one another at the time, but our older son commented once that we gave him Ted Syndrome (How I Met Your Mother reference) because we made marriage look so easy. Well it wasn’t, but I’m glad he saw it that way.
Let’s face it, in the weariness that is daily life, keeping relationships fresh is a challenge. I remember my mother telling me that she used to feed hints to my eldest sister about gifts that would make her feel special if Dad gave them to her. Margaret, ever the marketing prodigy, worked her magic on Daddy, and soon enough, Mom had her treasured gift. Maybe it wasn’t the best way to romance her, but at least he tried. She never let him know it was her idea to begin with, and Margaret proved a great little ally.
I’m not quite as creative as my mother was and honestly, I am not that interested in trinkets I’ll have to dust later, but I can get onboard with finding ways to keep my marriage fresh and meaningful. In fact, I’d like to plug Sheila’s blog if you’re looking for ways to freshen up that relationship, but I also have a few additions of my own for the more cerebral couples out there looking for ways to infuse new life into a weary marriage.
- Take long walks, even if it involves a stroller, and discuss ideas. Get into thoughts on religion, politics, social issues, and any other broad topic that helps you get to know your spouse all over again.
- Read the same book and then discuss it. Whether it’s a novel, self-help, or anything else, thinking through the same book and discussing it together not only gives you something to do together but helps you rediscover how your spouse thinks and what he/she loves.
- Go to work together. If possible, spend a day with each other at work. Get to know the people your spouse spends his/her time with and understand the stresses of his/her day. For me, that looks like climbing into a Peterbilt and traveling the country for a week. For Todd, that’s not as enlightening since he used to work for the same company I work for doing the same thing I do, but spending the time together is still profitable.
- Do home chores together (say what?). We usually divide and conquer, and honestly, we often have to in order to get everything done. With a truck driver husband, I only have him for two days per week, so getting the most out of those weekends possible is important. Whenever possible, though, doing some tasks side by side can be fun and create more memories together.
- Listen to each other. Now that sounds really obvious doesn’t it? The problem is that we’re all too often caught up in how to answer the other person that me miss the heart in what he/she says. Try to understand the feeling behind the words, not just the words themselves, and respond by sharing your heart as well.
Flirt challenge might be a syndrome you share with me. Depending on your marriage, overcoming that particular challenge may not be that big an issue, but investing in our marriage relationships is always a challenge worth the effort.
…and that’s the view from My Front Porch.
Gregoire, Sheila. “16 Ways to Flirt with Your Husband.” To Love Honor and Vacuum. BlogHer, 10 Feb. 2012. Web. 13 Aug. 2015. <http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2012/02/29-days-to-great-sex-day-10-16-ways-to-flirt-with-your-husband/>.
Photo courtesy of Karner Blue Photography